Worst speakers at Stereophile show

Here's what I thought were the worst sounding speakers at the Stereophile show. The Eggleston speakers that list for 100,000 dollars. I heard them in the Nagra room, with the Nagra 845 tube Amps, Nagra Preamp and Nagra digital reel to reel player. The cabinet on the Egglestons looked gorgeous. But let me tell you, these speakers were horrible. I was shocked how bad they sounded. They were so bright sounding. Eggleston has got to change midrange drivers. Those Morel midbases just sound to bright. Egglestons should use the Dynaudio 3 inch dome mids. Krell came out with a new mini monitor. It cost like 6000 dollars. These Krell Speakers sounded so edgy and the sound could get out of control. I didn't like them. Silverline had the Silverline Sonata speakers there. These speakers had to have the worst crossover. I played a track with a nice beat to it. It sounded horrible on these speakers. Then I put my ear to the speakers and I couldn't believe it, 80 percent of the midrange and bass was coming out of the tweeter. Silverline has got to change the crossover. How could you have the midbase coming out of the tweeter. That's why the bass sounded so edgy. A tweeter cant handle bass. Now another speaker I heard, that I didn't like. I heard the Merlin VSM se speakers. Merlin had 2 rooms with the VSM se speakers. One room had the Joule Electra Tube amps and Preamp. The other room that had the Merlins VSM se was the Sim Audio room. The Merlins in the Joule Electra room sounded not bad. It had nice detail. The same Merlins VSM se in the Sim Audio room sounded so average. The Joule Electra Tube Amps, sounded so much better on the Merlin speakers, then the Sim Room, which was using Sim W5 Amp, Sim P 5 preamp and Sim CD Player on the Merlin VSM se. The Merlins in the Joule Electra Room sounded very detailed, but didn't have that bass impact and large sound that I like. Then I heard the Verity Parsifal speakers on these Tenor OTL Tube Amps and the Audio Aero Capitole 24 bit CD Player. The Veritys didn't sound good. Someone said it perfectly to me, the Verity's dont have a full body sound. I then heard the Meadowlark speakers. I think they were the Herons. The bass did not sound good. It sounded way out of control and to boomy. I was also dissapointed with the Totem designer. Vince is a nice guy. But he kept playing these Totem tower speakers. They used a 5 inch midbase and the tweeter. They didn't sound to good. Then there was these nice looking Totem speakers in the room. They were called the Totem Wind. There's a pic of them on Totemes website. www.totemacoustic.com They used a 8 inch woofer and 2 dynaudio 3 inch dome midbases and a tweeter at the top. Vince played these speakers for like 40 seconds and they sounded really good. The bass and the midrange sounded nice. I wanted to hear more of them. Then Vince stopped playing them and went back to the Totem speakers, with the 5 inch midbase and the Tweeter. Everyone in the Room wanted to hear the other Totem speakers. But he wouldn't play them. He said he would play them later. Every time I went in the Totem room, he was playing the speaker with the 5 inch midbase and the tweeter. The 3rd time I was in the Totem room, another guy wanted to hear the Totem Wind speakers, but Vince said the same thing, he'll play them later.
The Egglestonworks Savoys are $30,000 a pair, I believe. they have a bigger model (the Ivy) which is closer to $100k.

There were Verity Parsifals at the show?

drubin, you are correct, it was the Eggleston Savoys at the Show, not the Ivy speakers. I was in the Eggleston Room for 20 minutes. Did anyone else notice, how bright these speakers were. The Veritys do not have a full body sound. The Dali speakers i heard, that list for 5000 dollars, are superior in every way to the Verity Parsifal speakers.
I also liked the Dali speakers, but they were part of a system that was demonstrating the TacT room correcction system and TacT's "digital" amplifier, so it's not apples and apples.
Most of the expensive speakers are decent products. The problems(bad sounding) are probably caused by the people who set up the systems. Most likely they are ex-used car saleman rather than a ture audiophile.
I was in the Eggleston/Nagra room and was very unimpressed by what I heard. I couldn't help thinking the speakers were starved for power. There was very little bass extension and frankly no sense of "being there". I'd be curious how they would sound with a much bigger tube amp. Anyone else notice this?
You are losing credibility real fast. The Merlin's are not VSM's. They're the Milleniums. What do you use?
Which is pretty much the latest incarnation of the VSM.
Of all the review's that i've read at Audioreview, Audio Asylum and Soundstage, only three were negative including your's and doug99. What speaker's do you use and do they have the same following as the Merlin's?
Hotcrocket you forgot Dkuipers (maybe he is the 3rd?) also posts as DK on AA. Don't worry about how others hear them, we know better everytime we listen. As I well know, there is no speaker for everyman nor will there ever be.
I have to agree with you on almost all of the systems at the show sounding VERY POORLY. But what I'm not sure of,,,,How bad were the rooms versus "HOW RUDE" the N.Y. crowd was. This was my First Hifi show on the East coast and was sooooo pissed off by the ignorance of the general public and the exhibitors / more so the public. How can you listen to anything with good intent when 20 people are yaking in the background, walking in front of you, pushing and shoving past you to get "their look,see".....only a few exhibitors took control of their rooms and gave you a chance to look and listen to the products.....I had a great conversation with Steven Stone of Stereophile and he was feeling the same way about the show. He had to do all of his work within the first hour each day,for after that it was total Chaos......Sad To Say "SOUR GRAPES" for me.
Bryhifi, I know what your saying, but I dont think the crowds were rude. I thought the crowd was great. These rooms are just not big enough to fit all the people.
It seemed that an inordinate number of attendees at this show were "in the industry" somehow. I sometimes got the impression that 1 out 3 attendees were members of the audiophile press. Jeez, who's left to be a customer?

Anyway, the insiders buzz around and make connections and talk to one another while us average Joes are trying to listen to systems and get information about what we are hearing. At CES, I can understand that business takes precedence, but at the Home Entertainment show, I think manufacturers would be wise to try to encourage and maintain a listening room and to direct the sidebar conversations to the hallway. Those with staged demos accomplish this, of course, but that has its downside too. Some did a great job in my opinion. Others, notably Silverline, blew it.

Hi Doug.

I just read your comments about the Silverline Sonata with great interest. I am a Silverline dealer and am listening to a pair of Sonatas as I write this. At $6000, the Sonata is one of the very best values in loudspeakers today. They are very open, dynamic, detailed and sweet and play with great authority. I have never heard them sound harsh or edgy, unless there were problems else where in the system, the recording or in the room set up.

I was particularly interested in your comments about the tweeter reproducing 80% of the midrange and bass. I just went into my listening room and pulled off the grilles so that I could repeat your test. What I heard was a tweeter that produces sound down to approximately 4000 hz. I noticed that a fair amount of upper midrange does appear to come from the tweeter if your ear is more than a couple of inches from the driver. The reason for this is the dispersion pattern of the 3" Dynaudio dome midrange driver (and no, Dynaudio does not make a 3" dome midbass driver). It has a very wide dispersion and that is probably what you heard. When I placed my ear right up to the tweeter, I heard only high end, no midrange. Regardless of crossover design, it is physically impossible for a 1" soft domed tweeter to produce bass frequencies and I'm left with no possible explanation as to how you could have possibly have heard any midbass coming from this driver.
I am laughing my ass off at Doug99's review!! How incoherent is this guy anyway? Is he "rainman" or something? The fact that he can't even express himself clearly, proves it doesn't matter what the hell he thinks he heard anyhow. And bass coming from a tweeter? You know absolutely NOTHING about loudspeakers! You also know nothing about hifi, if you think that the average illiterate dumbshit can just walk from one room to the next at a hifi show, and somehow make snap judgements on products. WHAT YOU HAVE "OBSERVED" HAS ZERO VALIDITY...so why not stop wasting everyone's time, and get the hell outta here!! You can't even put your comments in the right section: this one is about "amps, preamps", NOT loudspeakers!!
There is no such thing as "good value" in a pair of speakers that costs $6000! The price of speakers is getting as obscene as that of cables, with outrageous mark-up on equipment which requires only modestly complex technology to develop and produce. For your information, Mr. Sonata dealer, $600 is good value, but not $6K. These manufacturers are screwing the consumer. Is it any wonder that the high end market is shrinking? And for the original reviews, they are not very well thought out or presented, but that does not make a person's opinion invalid. But anyone who makes a snap judgement of how something sounds based on an exhibit at a trade show is very poorly informed.
I live in Memphis Tn and have a unique view point of eggleston speakers. I have driven around downtown several times looking for their manufacturing facility, today i found it. Any eggleston owners out there should crack open their cabinets amd look for roaches. The facility pictured on the website represents some of the best digital photographic alteration i have ever seen. If this is a high dollar high dollar company where are the facilities to attest to this. I am not commenting on the sound of these speakers; oddly enough i cant go any where to auddition them here in their home town. Just something to consider.
Another speaker i didn't like, was the Linn 40,000 dollar speakers. They sounded to edgy to me. The design of the speakers, the way the drivers were installed, looked awkward. Here's a pic of them. http://www.enjoythemusic.com/hifi2001/chrisb/
Doug I agree with most of your observations. But you are in the wrong forum man (amp-preamp) AND 'too' spells with two o's.
For the people who say that a single occasion to listen to a product should not determine our opinion I want to remind them that you get one chance to make a first impression. There are tens of loudspeakers in my target price range and I have a daytime job. So, if manufacturer A selects the wrong ancillary equipment or does not soundtreat his little hotel room right, he failed to impress me and that's it. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply. It is not golfing after all.
My first experience of Verity was in the Nordost demonstration room, with GamuT electronics, and I voted it in my top 3. Hard to imagine the Parcifal (which I've not heard) being a bad speaker. I understand though that as you move up the Verity line, they become increasingly revealing and demanding of the quality of the associated gear. Tamino is supposed to be warm and forgiving compared to the others.

I don't think I have a "worst speaker" of the show. As usual I admired the Wilsons more than I enjoyed them. Similar with Audio Physic. Thiel 1.6 were not very good on day one but by day four they had broken in and were quite impressive. Heron's sounded great to me, as did Legend, Joseph Audio, JMLab...

So DOug, did you like the Merlins or not? First you say that you didn't like them; then you say that the Merlins with the Joules sounded 'not bad', 'nice detail', etc., which sounds like you maybe.....liked them? The Merlins in the SimAudio room sounded average--maybe the difference is in the electronics, not the speakers? Practically every review of the Merlins emphasizes their ability to reveal characteristics of the upstream electronics; of course, any good speaker does this, but Merlins are often noted as being exceptional in this regard.
The Merlins did not project a big sound or have enough bass slam for you; OK, that's legitimate, considering that they're a 2 way system with a 6.5 inch woofer. I would just ask, though, what do you expect from a speaker with this design?
Off topic--Hey Will, if you read this, whatever happened to the Berning/Atma-sphere shootout?
Hi all. All this time since the show, I thought it was just me. This was the first show I was ever able to attend. I was really looking forward to see and hear all the products I could only read about. I heard some great music but the biggest thing I came away with was that I was just not that impressed with some of the highest end systems. That's not to say that any sounded bad, only that maybe I expected more. I have Vienna Acoustics Beethovens and I kept thinking to myself that the differences in sound I heard from the megabuck speakers, while all positive, I really couldn't justify pricewise. Some speakers cost 10 times the price of the mine but I wasn't hearing 10 times the difference in sound. That said, I did think that some speakers while low on the price scale, really showed great value. I thought the Thiel 1.6's sounded great for the price, among others.
That was hilarious Doug99...!

I have no worst of show... But we had a 9-way tie for best. Just another way to look at the difficulties each system had doing the making-music thang. Had me wishing that there was a system (picking and choosing from equipment that I do not own and am not a dealer for) comprised of say Lamm ML2s driving Pipedreams driven by a Gamut CD-1 into a Hovland HP100... No wait, make that the $60K Burmester CD/Transport pair that HP raves about instead of the GamuT 1. Oh! How about the Kharma exquisites instead of the pipedreams? And driven by the big Halcros. Yeah, that's it. That'll be my Best of (no)Show.

Oh, and Thiel 1.6 are an *excellent* speaker for the price (better than the rest of the Thiel line, IMHO). Moving up a notch the Merlins are *great* as well (they sounded better at CES 2002 than at HE2002, IMHO).
The Verity Persifal sounded bad?

Sorry, there was something dead wrong with the system (compatibility with the Tenor amps, maybe - I've never heard them).

I heard the Persifals with several font-ends and most of the time the result was anything but bad. Weird.
I'm currious to know which room your guy's are refering to that you heard the "Verity Audio Parsifal" speakers in? I seem to rember them being in at least a couple of diffferent rooms last Jan. I'm not a big Verity fan per se, but did think they sounded EXCELLENT overall in the Elgar room!
They were being used in whatever room the mondo expensive Elgar 24/196 gear was set up in. I was in there when Julien Hirsch was in the room auditioning the digital stuff, and I was impressed by the what I heard.
Anyway, I was just currious if there was another room being refered to here.

I once heard eggleston products which is the Andra
with the levinsons also,using meridian 508 cd player
the sounds is very transparent but not musical and
uninvolving,my friend brought the speaker in my house
with my plinius sa 100,adcom gfa750,cec cdplayer,and
master gen tara lab. the andra sounded speaker of the
year.I guess the gear they used did not match,or maybe
it is not your preference,some its all about preference
also.or I suspect the room is not acoustically prep. i do
agree with you the driver can sound too bright in the
less padded room or small room,or even paired with tubes.
What good does it really do to complain about speakers without mentioning everything in line before them, and then the room. Great speakers will not sound good in a bad room with improperly setup equipment.
Do you really think the manufacturer would let people listen to them if they sounded as bad as these comments indicate?
I wasn't at the show but there are a lot of things that can make speakers sound bad. Bad room acoustics, poor setup, poor source or front end, wrong power amp for that particular speaker. One of the biggest things that makes speakers sound bad is poor interconnects and speaker cable. I was at a show one time and the speakers sounded terribly bright. We changed out the speaker cable and what a transformation, the speakers sounded great.
totally agree with you, very few people dont realize
room will make a whole world of a difference.also
you hit it bulls eye, most of this speakers were
made up of quality parts, drivers, but it is our
job to use them right.I also think the one reason
the andra shines in my room, my room is acoustically
right for the andra, and the size of course.
Guys: my dealer (who did not exhibit) but attended, feels that there is simply not enough electrical juice in the hotel to make these things sound their best. But, expectations also factor into our judgements, in my opinion. For what it's worth, most of these systems were just not musical-but maybe the dealers didn't care about musicality, just sonic showmanship. I think most of the rooms were either too small or too big. My best of show were the Meadowlark Swifts, a phenomenal value, and the Innersound Eros-but the bass was far too boomy.
..."Do you really think the manufacturer would let people listen to them if they sounded as bad as these comments indicate?"....

Yes, I do!!!! Just go listen to Bose speakers and you tell me...enough said there. The almighty dollar is too aluring!

Also, Rooms beeing "too big" is not a problem at these shows guy's, trust me! The smaller rooms are BY FAR more difficult to deal with for best sound. You couple that with the fact that in those tiny rooms, there's really only one or two(depending on how they set em up) seats in the room with potentially descent balanced sound from a 2 speaker set up or whatever!(the majority of rooms have 2 speaker set ups I noticed).
Still, because most of these rooms at the hi-fi and CES show's play delicate jazz and vocals, it's not too shabby when you set the speakers up descently enough with some treatment here and there...it's workable I guess.
In a large room getting fantastic sound is generally much easier overall, especially when you consider you're going to likely sit closer to the speakers in addition!(just go into a local AV "Mega chain store" and listen to the surround set up in the middle of the store out in the open!..it'll be the best sounding set up they have likely!(?)
Years ago I was in the high-end audio business and dreaded working the trade shows. My best advice to potential customers was to survey the equipment on display, then visit the dealership sometime after the show with a pile of one's favorite music to test the equipment and not to put too much emphasis on the sounds they heard at the trade show.

Back in the day of the Klipschorn, I had a customer who thought they sounded just awful at the trade show, who was later so blown away auditioning them in our retail store, he immediately ordered a pair.
I strongly believe that consumer who's looking for the level of $30,000 or higher should soon realize that there will be no money better spent than on Meyer Sound that actually would custom install their products for the best acoustics.
I'm not Meyer Sound dealer.
There are a lot of things at a show that can mess up a great speaker. Many high end speakers that don't have at least 700 hours of break in, Ditto on wire, and if the wires are at a midway break in point they can sound atrocious, and electronics do the same thing.

Considering how good their $20k sounds I'd be inclined to think that more could be expected out of their big gun, but hey.

I've bought/traded two pairs of B&W 800S cheap from guys who hadn't given them a chance to break in, they hated them, if they had heard them in my reference system after a few hundred hours they would have been pissed off.

At the San Francisco CES years ago Meadowlark used a new pair of their wonderful Blue Heron 2's, there was no interest in them as a result.

Possibility it was poor setup or unseasoned components?????